Before I was diagnosed, I would pride myself on never taking a day off work and I used to sneer at people who chose to lie-in on the weekends. As a naturally driven person, I expected my body to follow what my mind wanted to do and when it wanted to do it. When I felt tired I pushed on through, believing that life was for the living. I tried to suppress feelings of tiredness rather than acknowledging them as warning signals.
In addition to having a mentally demanding job and a young family, I was prone to burning the candle at both ends, believing that a healthy diet and exercise would protect me. I was often very tired and, although I rarely had trouble sleeping, I would rarely wake up feeling refreshed.
Learning the importance of resting with intent has probably been the most important change I've made since my diagnosis. This conscious attention to improving the quality of my sleep and relaxation has had so many positive effects including increased energy, improved clarity of thought and a better mood.
Even for a healthy person, there are some common thing that can make falling asleep or remaining asleep difficult at times. But for a cancer patient, anxiety, pain or the side-effects of treatment can make it even more difficult. Not surprising then that insomnia is at least twice as common in cancer patients than in the general population.